Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
We've been using our crockpot quite a bit lately. We've also discovered the wonderful boneless skinless chicken thighs from one of our favorite grocery stores (or go-see store as our toddler calls them). The benefit of cooking the thighs in the crockpot is they dry out less and are more flavorful than the traditional chicken breasts. Cooking Light's crockpot recipes have become a go-to source. I did not expect this recipe to be as good as it was. Even the toddler ate some of it!
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine 1/2 cup water and flour in your favorite crockpot, stirring with a whisk. (Note: You can also use corn starch, which we will do next time.)
  2. Stir in stock and next 8 ingredients (through mushrooms).
  3. Add chicken thighs to the stock mixture; submerge in liquid.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW 7 1/2 hours (ours cooked about 9).
  5. Remove chicken.
  6. Leave whole or chop if using boneless skinless. If using bone-in, wait for them to cool, then remove bones.
  7. Add oil and pasta to slow cooker sauce; cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until pasta is done to your liking. (It took a little longer than 15 minutes for us.)
  8. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  9. Divide pasta mixture and top evenly with chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
I didn't expect the capers to add so much to the dish. It was the right amount of salt and sweet from the tomatoes. The pasta cooked perfectly. Next time, I will use the corn starch and reduce the amount of liquid a little for the initial cooking phase. If we need more to cook the pasta, I'll add more at that time. All in all a good, flavorful dish that is perfect for a weeknight.

 

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Toddler approved: Stuffed shells

Toddler Approved Meals

Miss A has an affinity for all things Italian, like last week’s chicken “parm.” When I was little, my mom used to make these stuffed shells. My sister and I remember them fondly* and I thought Miss A would like them as well. We were right. She loved the stuffed shells. They’re easy enough for a weeknight dinner and perfect for a Friday during Lent.

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Toddler approved: Stuffed shells
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Get the water boiling and follow the directions on the box.
  2. Our box said boil for 9 minutes if baking.
  3. Shred the blocks of cheese. Mix together the cottage cheese and two eggs, then add the shredded cheese and mix.
  4. You can add seasoning like salt and pepper or this delicious Penzy's frozen pizza blend we received as a gift. When we made this for Miss A the first time, we left out the spices and just sprinkled them on before we ate.
  5. Pour about 1/3 cup of the pasta sauce on the bottom of your favorite baking dish.
  6. Drain the pasta and shock with cold water.
  7. Drain again.
  8. Using a soup spoon (or your favorite spoon) stuff the shells and line the baking dish.
  9. Pour remaining sauce (you might need another half a jar to get all of the pasta covered). Bake at 350 degrees for at least a half an hour or until all the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Toddler Approved: Stuffed SHellsMy Opinion:
For at least the last 10 years, I’ve been making this dish wrong. I *remembered (incorrectly it seems) my mom using cheddar cheese and I couldn’t figure out why it never tasted exactly right. When shopping for the ingredients for this dish with my sister, she said she remembered our mom using colby cheese. Upon my first taste with J and Miss A I remarked that my sister had been right and the missing ingredient was colby cheese! That’s when we Facetimed my mom from the dinner table with the intention of showing her how excited Miss A was to eat one of her recipes. That’s when my mom asked about the ingredients. Turns out she sprinkled Parmesan cheese* on top! I feel like the kid in Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (one of Miss A’s current favorites) when Alexander exclaims, “I HATE Limas” after having to eat lima beans for dinner because I very much dislike Parmesan cheese and absolutely do not remember that being part of this recipe. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a childhood dish can be interpreted so differently?

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